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What’s your page load speed? Not only is a slow website bad for customers and sales, now it’s bad for SEO too!

A page that loads slowly is a big no-no if you want users to convert. Customers are unlikely to wait around for a page to load…especially when most people these days are browsing on-the-go on mobile. Yes, your highly pixelated images may look great after they’ve, eventually, loaded but slow page loading goes hand-in-hand with high bounce rates.

Google talks page speed

Google has just made a major announcement. The search ranking algorithm is now going to include Core Web Vitals, in addition to the already existing page experience signals. Essentially, what this means is that if your website is fast and performs well for users then Google is going to rank it higher.

Google explains: “The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile”.

But what are Core Web Vitals?

There are three main elements that count. Loading (Largest Contentful Paint or LCP) Interactivity (First Input Delay or FID) and Visual Stability (Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS).

These new Core Web Vitals will be taken into account along with the already present experience signals, which are mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security and intrusive interstitial guidelines.

We examine them below in more detail.

Load time

Largest Contentful Paint is the total time it takes for a web page’s main content to load. As a business, you want yours to be around 2.5 seconds or less. Anything more than that and it’s likely that you’ll be pushed down to the lower positions of the SERP. Unfortunately, in this case, slow and steady won’t win the race.

Interactivity

First Input Delay is the amount of time it takes for a webpage to become interactive (as in clickable and functioning). You want to aim for under 100 milliseconds, here.

Layout shift

Cumulative Layout Shift refers to the amount of unexpected layout shift of visual content on a page. An optimal measurement no more than 0.1, ideally less.

These metrics may seem complicated but they actually make it easier to measure how good your site’s doing in terms of loading, interactivity and visual stability.

Core Web Vitals

Google defines Core Web Vitals as: “A set of real-world, user-centred metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads (so you don’t accidentally tap that button when it shifts under your finger)”.

Don’t worry there’s still time

These changes aren’t going to come into action until next year and Google have stated that they will give six months notice to webmasters before the new rules are rolled out. This is good news, as it means you’ve got time to get your website up to scratch, so that when the changes are actioned you’re already a step ahead of the competition.

The good news

The good news is that these changes will work towards a better web for everyone. Meaning that time-draining, inefficient websites will hopefully one day be a thing of the past. As Google puts it: “We believe user engagement will improve as experiences on the web get better — and that by incorporating these new signals into Search, we’ll help make the web better for everyone”.

What’s your page speed?

If you want an idea of how you’re doing you can use this handy tool from Google to check your page speed.

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Fast web hosting

At catalyst2, we offer fast web hosting. We will work with your company to speed up your hosting and therefore not only increase the efficiency of your website but also your SEO ranking! This, in the long run, is not only going to help you be found by your target users and customers but with better performing SEO, you won’t need to spend as much on PPC marketing campaigns, saving you money in the long run.

We offer a wide range of website hosting packages to fit all types and size of business.

https://www.catalyst2.com/hosting/web-hosting/

Choose from ASP.net hosting, ASP hosting, SQL hosting and PHP hosting. Our packages have everything you need and we also pride ourselves on providing unbeatable customer support.

Get in touch

So, if you’ve got your keyword strategy nailed but don’t have a clue about time to first byte or caching, just leave it to us.

Contact us today for a friendly, no-obligation chat. We’d love to find out more about your business.

Or if you already know what you want, request a quote here.